Politicians consider changes to law following Jēkabpils murder case

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Who should take responsibility for the tragic killing in Jēkabpils? Politicians see their involvement in this situation as directing the necessary legislative changes to change the approach, Latvian Radio reported on April 27.

The tragedy in the middle of April, when in Jēkabpils, Leons Rusiņš stabbed a woman in front of her child and mother after months of threats and harassment, highlighted a number of problems. Although the woman had repeatedly turned to the police and 18 criminal proceedings had previously been initiated against the killer, the tragedy was not prevented. The perpetrator did not attend his hearings and the police could not find him. He still has not been found a week and a half after the murder.

The State Police have started a service inspection that will take about a month. It needs to be clarified whether the police have acted in accordance with the regulatory framework and have been sufficiently active.

Meanwhile, politicians are already preparing changes to the laws in response to the shortcomings already shown in the particular tragedy.

Internal Affairs Minister Māris Kučinskis (United List) said: “In regard to the police, we are conducting this investigation within a month to carefully assess and find who and how he has not worked. [..] There are three proposals. Firstly, the courts should take domestic violence in priority order. Secondly, raising penalties for such crimes. Third, but it's not a one-day issue, electronic defense. This means that such perpetrators should wear a [monitoring] armband for a while."

The head of the Saeima Legal Affairs Committee, Andrejs Judins (New Unity), has prepared amendments to the Criminal Law, encouraging an increase in penalties for threats of bodily harm and threats of murder, persecution, and also avoidance of court. These legislative amendments are already planned to be viewed by the Saeima Legal Affairs Committee in May. In this context, a meeting is scheduled for May 9.

At the same time, a majority of Saeima members on Thursday disagreed with the call for the Progressives to instruct the government to advance the Istanbul Convention for approval.

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